Chelsea should be ready to confirm the appointment of Antonio Conte as early as next week.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich is keen to get a deal done quickly for the Italian in an attempt to lift some of the gloom after the club’s Champions League exit.
Reports in Italy estimate an announcement will be made no later than Tuesday, March 15, follow Chelsea’s visit to Everton in the FA Cup tomorrow.
The 46-year-old is yet to meet personally with Abramovich but has held several meetings with Stamford Bridge officials in the past few weeks.
A three-year contract has been prepared for the Italian head coach and Conte is keen to bring his own backroom staff with him to west London this summer.
Conte’s trusted assistants Angelo Alessio and Massimo Carrera are nailed on to join the former Juventus manager at Chelsea and could be followed by two more new faces.
Scouts Mauro Sandreani and Gianluca Conte, brother of the Blues target, are candidates while Steve Holland is expected to remain part of any restructured coaching setup.
Interim boss Guus Hiddink , who stepped into the breach in December following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, will not remain part of the club in an official capacity.
However, Abramovich will continue to consult with the Dutchman on a regular basis, as has been the case since he left his previous stint as caretaker manager.
Hiddink has only been defeated twice since returning to London but admitted the club is in a transitional period after crashing out of the Champions League on Wednesday.
Eden Hazard limped out of the defeat to Paris Saint-Germain to boos from some sections of the crowd but sources have indicated the Blues will resist offers for the player.
Hazard is seen as a key player by the Chelsea hierarchy and the club are not looking for a major clear-out of the squad despite a disastrous 2015-15 campaign.